Handling College Handling College

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Thread: Handling College

  1. #1
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    Default Handling College

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    Rip,

    College, for many reasons, is a stressful environment. I don't want to find myself halfway through the semester sacrificing time under the bar for time in the library.

    What are some methods you used in college to balance time in the classroom and in the weight room? Furthermore, did you have any methods for keeping stress in check from the classroom so it had minimal effect on your recovery?

    Thanks,
    DM

  2. #2
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    It has been 40 years since I was in college, and I don't remember. We'll ask the board.

  3. #3
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    Went to college from 2008-2012, including summer sessions, resulting in a degree in mechanical engineering. I found it helpful to decide on what time of day I wanted to go to the gym during any given semester, and then block my classes around that time as best as possible. I went to the on-campus gym (which had an actual power rack) and rented a locker so that I could always shower after. I found that being a male in my twenties made recovery a non-issue, regardless of stress. I note that I was not, in fact, doing the program as written at that time: I subbed rows for power cleans because the on-campus gym didn't permit Olympic lifts or similar.

    Regarding keeping stress in check: I was much more stressed from grinding endlessly at the books than from training. In fact, if I slacked off on lifting, I was worse-off all around. It was a good mental break for me, and I wish I'd had the sense to stick with training past the initial novice progression when I had 23-year old T levels.

  4. #4
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    Physical exertion is complementary to mental concentration in my experience. And you might find that the gym becomes a welcome relief from monotonous bouts of studying. You can't spend 12+ hours a day focussing on intellectually-challenging material anyway. My advice would be to join a sports team to provide structure and a sense of team pride and obligation. Training alone is good but training alongside others with a common goal in mind is better.

    I chose rowing because I was never any good at hand-eye coordination. I don't think it was just correlation that the rowers tended to do above average in exams despite spending so much time on the water and in the boathouse gym. Early morning training may have helped; the realisation that you've accomplished more before 9AM than most of your peers will accomplish during the entire day encourages you to continue being productive for the rest of the day.

  5. #5
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    I didn't really spend any time in the uni library until after I had graduated.

    The most effective way is to be efficient with your time; Realize that 50% of the work they ask you to do has ZERO educational value (Yes, even in engineering and science). When you come across the BS assignments, do a lightning-speed, half-assed job of it and tell them what they want to hear (if you are concerned about getting top grades for grad school). If you make friends with the correct groups of foreign students, they are incredibly proficient at getting top grades through alternative means; no BS assignments required to pass.

  6. #6
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    Its all about scheduling. Take advantage of quieter times to get, and stay, ahead of your book work. Treat college like a job - take full advantage of the time between classes.

  7. #7
    Brodie Butland is offline Starting Strength Coach
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    You simply have to carve out time for yourself. I wished I could give a more profound answer than that, but really there isnít one. Figure out when you can consistently make it to the gym. Maybe itís 8pm, maybe itís the early afternoon, maybe youíre one of those sick individuals who can stomach early mornings in your 20s. But the point is, you have to make it a habit, and you have to treat it like an appointment that is every bit as important as studying, meals, and personal engagements.

    The most consistent training in my life was during law school (pre-SS, so shitty programming...but still put on 30 lbs in two months), which was several times more work intensive than undergraduate. Four to five days a week every week, rarely missing a beat. Even during exam study periods I carved out time three days a week for my own sanity. Itís not even that I was great at time management (Iím just okay at it overall), but I treated my hour/hour and a half in the Iron Temple with the same amount of importance as studying, eating a real breakfast or dinner, writing my law review article, or whatever else was going on. Because it is just as important, and itís necessary to keep a balance. I also carved out a half hour immediately after my last afternoon class to watch Ninja Warrior (the original Japanese version), because it was my way to relax.

    Stress will always be there, and thatís natural and okayóyou just canít let it run your life. This requires planning and being honest with yourself. If you have to pull an all nighter for a midterm or final exam, either you got really unlucky because they all hit in the same two or three day period (very rare...never happened to me in four years undergrad or three law school), or more likely you did a piss poor job of managing your time leading up to the exams or are overcomplicating things. If you are writing an entire term paper in two days, itís almost certainly piss poor time management. Buy a paper calendar and learn how to use itóplan your weeks in advance just like you do training sessions, and if life throws you curveballs then do your best to prioritize. I always had a designated fall-behind class in case things got rough...basically the class I knew I could skip the reading for a week or two and catch back up quickly when things calmed down. If you donít know where to start, talk to someone you know who is good at juggling lots of things and ask them what they do...maybe youíll get a few good ideas. Hell, you can even PM me if you want, though most of it will be me telling you how to learn from my mistakes.

    But above all...remember that for any test you take, itís just one test of the many you will take throughout your life. And no academic test you take, or entrance exam, will ever be as important as future tests you will do when you enter the real world. You probably wonít appreciate that now, but ask anyone on this board who has experienced some time in the school of hard knocks. I think Sully would tell you that the medical boards pale in importance to many other things heís done in his professional and personal life. I can say the same for the bar exam or the LSAT or any final I ever took...Iíve had many more higher stakes tests since the bar exam than I had before it, and that will likely never change. Law school exams involved fake clients doing fake things. Iíve had to recommend whether to send someone to the execution chamber and had to argue cases with a life sentence on the line. Yeah...suddenly that mediocre LSAT score I got doesnít seem so bad anymore.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    Physical exertion is complementary to mental concentration in my experience. And you might find that the gym becomes a welcome relief from monotonous bouts of studying. You can't spend 12+ hours a day focussing on intellectually-challenging material anyway. My advice would be to join a sports team to provide structure and a sense of team pride and obligation. Training alone is good but training alongside others with a common goal in mind is better.
    What he said,

    Plus:

    I went to college during America's second Civil War from 1968-1972. Campus buildings were burned, there was a shoot out in town with the Black Panthers, and the university was closed by the governor early in Spring after a week of riots, post Kent State. In short, a lot of stress and a lot of distractions even beyond the norms of the demands of academe. During that time I managed to keep jogging, get in some shitty and unfocused lifting (there was NO good advice at the time that I knew of), and train with the Judo team 4-5 times a week. As mentioned by MWM, (sort of) the effects of effort can be insulating and cathartic. Get all the sleep you can, eat adequately, be rigorous in time management, and find what time you have left to just be young and have some fun.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
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    I found dinking beer to excess, chasing pretty girls and smoking the occasional joint to be very effective at controlling stress

    I was body building training hard 4-6 days a week but Iím a product of the 60s

    As a mature adult I certainly donít recommend my methods but they were sure fun.

  10. #10
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    starting strength nutrition camp
    Quote Originally Posted by Devin Morrison View Post
    Rip,

    College, for many reasons, is a stressful environment. I don't want to find myself halfway through the semester sacrificing time under the bar for time in the library.

    What are some methods you used in college to balance time in the classroom and in the weight room? Furthermore, did you have any methods for keeping stress in check from the classroom so it had minimal effect on your recovery?

    Thanks,
    DM
    You will regret not training during the stressful times at college. You need to make time to get it done - like scheduling a meeting with yourself.
    It would be sub-optimal to skip eating or sleeping in the name of studying (despite what your classmates will think). It's the same here.

    Three times a week. Don't let yourself make exceptions. It easy to slip into not training again while times are stressful, but you will always find a reason in life not to train. You just need to do it.

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